How weather affects honey and the taste of new vintages.
Did you know that each vintage of honey is unique? Every year the bees can forage in exactly the same area and yet, depending on what the weather does, they will forage more or less on certain flowers. The outcome of this determines the taste of the nectar that is ultimately turned into honey by the bees. As a mead maker I find this fascinating.
Different regions produce different honeys based on the time of year and the flowers that grow in the area the bees are kept. In our Sooke region bees forage mostly on Blackberry, Fireweed, Salal (in the Sooke hills), Maple, Dandelions, and Fruit Tree Blossoms. We get a special batch of honey from a single, ancient Linden Tree as this is near one of our beeyards. If you were to go to Alberta the honey would have a different taste as the flowers the bees feed on would be different. Larger forage crops such as Alphalfa, Canola, and Clover are more common honeys there.
Red grapes produce a red wine which is vastly different than a white wine. Similarily, a dark honey produces a dark mead that has a stronger flavor profile than mead produced with a light honey. The way this effects the mead is mostly in the finish. At Tugwell Creek Meadery, our meads have a soft floral finish due to the use of our Wildflower and Fireweed Honey in our meads. Very little dark honey is produced on Vancouver Island. Therefore most meads produced here are lighter and floral. This is most noticeable in plain honey meads such as our Kilt Twister, Solstice Metheglin and Vintage Sac Meads.
For a limited time, we have a Solstice Metheglin Giftpack available in our tasting room should you want to compare two vintages side by side. Come visit our covered, Covid safe, ocean view patio on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-5pm to experience it for yourself or visit our online store with free shipping in Canada.